“Awake, thou wintry earth – Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth your ancient gladness!”
Equinox = equal. Twice a year day and night are of equal lengths. These two dates are the Spring/Vernal Equinox and the Fall/Autumnal Equinox. The Spring Equinox has long been associated with the birth of a new year. It is seen as the place of the rising sun, and is affiliated with the direction of East. The Autumnal Equinox is symbolic of the West and the setting sun and represents the death of the year.
March signals the birth of a new year and new beginnings.
March (Martis) is named directly after the planet Mars. It was the first month of the original Greco-Roman calendar. Mars is also known as Ares the Greek God of war. This time signaled the beginning of the military campaign season. Somewhere between 713 – 450 B.C., January and February were added to the calendar and the beginning of the year was changed to January 1st.
Aries is also the first sign in the Zodiac, the Ram that represents the cardinal direction of East and the Spring/Vernal Equinox.
Ides of March (March 15th) – began as a military parade and Roman festival held in the middle of March, during the full moon, to honor Mars, the God of war. Today it is associated with the assassination of Julius Ceasar in 44 B.C. Before he was killed by his conspirators, Julius Caesar reformed the old solar/lunar calendar to a strickly solar calendar. The month of July is named for him. Pope Gregory XIII, ordered a reform of the Julian calendar in 1582. Under the new system March 20th or 21st became the date of the vernal equinox. The Gregorian calendar is what most cultures use today.
St. Patricks Day – (March 17th) – is an Irish Catholic holiday of feasting and drinking (as well as going to Church) for the Lenten restrictions are lifted this one day in honor of Saint Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland. St. Patrick is credited with using the Shamrock as a way to demonstrate the Holy Trinity thereby converting Irish “pagans” to Christianity. This is often referred to him driving the snakes (pagans) out of Ireland.
Celebration of Eostre – (March 31th – 2013) – Celebrates the day of the Spring Equinox in honor of Eostre the Celtic/Germanic Goddess of Spring. Eostre is the root word for East, the direction of the rising “Sun”, a new dawn. A common Celtic custom was to hide brightly colored eggs for children to find. The Spring Equinox marks the birth of another great cycle. Eggs, rabbits and lambs have long been the traditional symbols of new life.
“March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb”
Enjoy the beautiful transitions this month brings….step into your new beginnings with loving strength and gentle kindness…..